Is a Bastard Sword a one-handed or a two-handed weapon?


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If it is a two-handed weapon, it's jut going to inherit all the bad lance juju. I'd rather the lance became a one-handed weapon that requires you to wield it in two hands on foot.


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Gauss wrote:

Durngrun,

So, instead of moving it to two-handed (which would prevent the issue entirely) they created a situation where it is a two-handed weapon in the FAQ but a one-handed weapon in the book. A conflict exists that needs to be clarified.

While I may agree with the intent the wording of the FAQ created a conflict with the rules.

- Gauss

Again, my understanding is that a FAQ is not a change but a clairification. It uses the example that a two-handed weapon cannot be used in one hand. Therefore, minus EWP, the bastard sword cannot be used one handed. Yes it is poorly worded but, in my opinion, it is only complicated if you wish to read it as complicated.


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RJGrady,

LOL, thanks for reminding me of the two-handed weapon in one hand FAQ and Power attack with a lance in one hand FAQ contradiction. I wonder if they will ever fix that one.

- Gauss


mdt wrote:

Right now it's some weird mongrel weapon...

Right, exactly. It has a unique quality. It cannot be wielded one handed without training. This is an exception to the non proficiency rule. Is that really so horrible?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:

Right now it's some weird mongrel weapon...

Right, exactly. It has a unique quality. It cannot be wielded one handed without training. This is an exception to the non proficiency rule. Is that really so horrible?

No, but since it contradicts the rules as stated in the CRB, and there's nothing in the weapon to indicate that, this is not an FAQ, it's a stealth errata, which the devs have posted they don't do.

That means it's still in conflict with the CRB/UE and needs to be modified or the CRB needs to be errata'd.

EDIT : Again, resolve it either way, but resolve it as an errata or fix the FAQ. I don't really care which.


Durngrun Stonebreaker, I am not arguing with the intent of the FAQ. I am stating that the wording of the FAQ states that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon. Something which the rules contradict. The rules state it is a one-handed weapon.

- Gauss


mdt wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:

Right now it's some weird mongrel weapon...

Right, exactly. It has a unique quality. It cannot be wielded one handed without training. This is an exception to the non proficiency rule. Is that really so horrible?

No, but since it contradicts the rules as stated in the CRB, and there's nothing in the weapon to indicate that, this is not an FAQ, it's a stealth errata, which the devs have posted they don't do.

That means it's still in conflict with the CRB/UE and needs to be modified or the CRB needs to be errata'd.

EDIT : Again, resolve it either way, but resolve it as an errata or fix the FAQ. I don't really care which.

Just so I'm clear (Guass has had to explain things to me before!), an FAQ is not a rule change, correct? The only contradiction is the FAQ refers to the weapon as a two-handed weapon when explaining why it cannot be wielded in one hand without a proficiency, correct? Every thing else should be kosher.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Everything else should be kosher if it's errata'd to be a two-handed weapon. Or if the FAQ is modified so that as a one-handed weapon, it can be used with a -4 penalty one handed. Or if the weapon is errata'd to say it's an exception to the normal one-handed rules.

The problem is, it's currently not matching core rules on any front.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Durngrun,

So, instead of moving it to two-handed (which would prevent the issue entirely) they created a situation where it is a two-handed weapon in the FAQ but a one-handed weapon in the book. A conflict exists that needs to be clarified.

While I may agree with the intent the wording of the FAQ created a conflict with the rules.

- Gauss

Again, my understanding is that a FAQ is not a change but a clairification. It uses the example that a two-handed weapon cannot be used in one hand. Therefore, minus EWP, the bastard sword cannot be used one handed. Yes it is poorly worded but, in my opinion, it is only complicated if you wish to read it as complicated.

Basically, it comes down to this: "use...two-handed" is not an actual game term. The game defines two-handed weapons, and it defines wielding a weapon in two-hands. The bastard sword has a unique phrasing, which is to say, a very poor one. But despite this, there is no actual evidence in the CRB it is a two-handed weapon, and ample evidence it is a one-handed weapon. Therefore, the FAQ seems to be creating or changing a rule. Simply going by what is in the CRB, we see the bastard sword is a one-handed weapon. The easiest way to read "use... two-handed" is to assume it's simply written in a way to be interpreted as standard English, not as a mangling of a game term.

EDIT: This is backed up by the language in the Combat chapter, which reads: "When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (Strength penalties are not multiplied). You don't get this higher Strength bonus, however, when using a light weapons with two hands." Only light weapons are excluded, and hence that is an example of one-handed weapons being wielded "two-handed." The FAQ answer looks very weak in light of this.


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I answered this the last time it came up. The language for the katana is a lot more clear, but has the same intent.

The bastard is a one-handed weapon, but to use it properly you must have special traing-->exotic weapon feat. Otherwise you can wield it in two hands.

For the purpose of mechanics you treat it as a two-handed weapon if you dont have EWP, and you treat it as a one-handed weapon if you do have the feat so effectively it changes categories. For the purpose of hit points it is a one-handed weapon because that is the actual category.

I do understand the confusion because the FAQ calls it a two handed weapon, and I know I am not a developer, and I will FAQ this in the hopes that the FAQ for this is rewtitten to be more clear.

If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"


RJGrady, when the language (not the intent) of the FAQ and the language of the rules are in conflict shouldn't we request clarification and correction so they are in synch with each other?

That is what MDT has done here.

Think of it as playtesting, we provide the Devs with feedback as to the clarity of the FAQs. If enough people see the conflict then shouldn't the Devs do something to clarify or fix it?

I am sure that there is a way to rephrase the FAQ that explains the intent without also providing a contradiction.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:


If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

I agree what the intent probably was, but the FAQ and RAW don't match.

This question, however, isn't really part of this thread. You're absolutely correct, a Magus with EWP could, and that's never been a question.

Whether or not a black blade can be a bastardsword (or a katana for that matter) is open for debate.


And Wraithstrike saves the day, the simple words of 'treat it as a two-handed weapon if you don't have EWP' should be included in the FAQ! All else will follow.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gauss wrote:

And Wraithstrike saves the day, the simple words of 'treat it as a two-handed weapon if you don't have EWP' should be included in the FAQ! All else will follow.

- Gauss

Not really, that doesn't match the CRB RAW, which means it needs to be errata'd.


mdt,

Yes, but, it would be a more acceptable FAQ don't you think? More of a clarification than a contradiction.

I am less interested in the difference between FAQ and errata. To me, many FAQs probably qualify as errata and should be erratas rather than FAQs but that is wishful thinking (would make reading the rules easier). :)

- Gauss


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Not really.

If the FAQ has to add rules that are non-existent, then it requires an errata, because an errata affects future printings. An FAQ doesn't.

Even the devs have said, repeatedly, that an FAQ should not change or add rules unless there's an accompanying errata.


mdt wrote:

Not really.

If the FAQ has to add rules that are non-existent, then it requires an errata, because an errata affects future printings. An FAQ doesn't.

Even the devs have said, repeatedly, that an FAQ should not change or add rules unless there's an accompanying errata.

What rules did this add? (Other than erroneously referring to it as a two-handed weapon)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:

Not really.

If the FAQ has to add rules that are non-existent, then it requires an errata, because an errata affects future printings. An FAQ doesn't.

Even the devs have said, repeatedly, that an FAQ should not change or add rules unless there's an accompanying errata.

What rules did this add? (Other than erroneously referring to it as a two-handed weapon)

A one-handed weapon that's exotic that cannot be wielded one-handed with a -4 penalty.

That is nowhere in the rules anywhere. It's new rules.


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mdt wrote:
Gauss wrote:

And Wraithstrike saves the day, the simple words of 'treat it as a two-handed weapon if you don't have EWP' should be included in the FAQ! All else will follow.

- Gauss

Not really, that doesn't match the CRB RAW, which means it needs to be errata'd.

Not only that, it would create a number of very odd situations, like the Two-Handed Fighter losing the ability to perform Overhand Chop if he gains proficiency with the EWP... it really is not a good idea for the weapon to change categories. One-handed weapons already don't change categories if they are wielded two-handed. It should definitely be the case that while the number of hands may change, the category of the weapon should always be the same.

If the bastard sword were a two-handed weapon that could be wielded in one hand, that would actually make EWP (bastard sword) more enticing. Currently, it's basically a feat that lets you do +1 damage with a longsword. However, redesigning the bastard sword in such a way probably isn't the province of the FAQ.


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mdt wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:

Not really.

If the FAQ has to add rules that are non-existent, then it requires an errata, because an errata affects future printings. An FAQ doesn't.

Even the devs have said, repeatedly, that an FAQ should not change or add rules unless there's an accompanying errata.

What rules did this add? (Other than erroneously referring to it as a two-handed weapon)

A one-handed weapon that's exotic that cannot be wielded one-handed with a -4 penalty.

That is nowhere in the rules anywhere. It's new rules.

Isn't in the description of the bastard sword? "Too-large to use in one hand without training"

Do you let nets entangle?
Do you provoke AoOs when using a whip?


In real life, the kind of sword the Pathfinder bastard sword is supposed to replicate is generally known as a "hand-and-a-half" sword. It can be wielded as a one-handed sword or in both hands. Using it with two hands is much easier, but with some conditioning it can be used adequately in one hand instead, allowing the use of a shield when necessary.

Links:
http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/88HNH/HAND-AND-A-HALF_SWORD.aspx
http://www.strongblade.com/nav/bastard.html
http://www.myarmoury.com/review_pmc_bast1.html

The answer is that the bastard sword is both a one-handed AND a two-handed sword, thoughhaving the exotic weapon proficiency is indicative of the training one underwent to learn how to not only use it one-handed without dropping it but also how to use it effectively once you learned how to not drop it due to sheer weight in one hand. 6 pounds, especially when one considers the length of the blade, is a huge weight to swing around willy-nilly. If you don't believe that, try attaching a common two pound weight to your broom handle via duct tape and see how easy that is to swing one and two-handed.


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mdt wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

I agree what the intent probably was, but the FAQ and RAW don't match.

This question, however, isn't really part of this thread. You're absolutely correct, a Magus with EWP could, and that's never been a question.

Whether or not a black blade can be a bastardsword (or a katana for that matter) is open for debate.

I always saw it as a one-handed weapon that requires two hands. That makes the feat sensible to me, and matches the flavor text. It is listed as a one-handed weapon by the rules. The rules just also happen to say you need a feat to use it as intended.


mdt wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:

Not really.

If the FAQ has to add rules that are non-existent, then it requires an errata, because an errata affects future printings. An FAQ doesn't.

Even the devs have said, repeatedly, that an FAQ should not change or add rules unless there's an accompanying errata.

What rules did this add? (Other than erroneously referring to it as a two-handed weapon)

A one-handed weapon that's exotic that cannot be wielded one-handed with a -4 penalty.

That is nowhere in the rules anywhere. It's new rules.

The weapon itself presents an exception to the rules. That is how I read it before. Oh..I need to hit that FAQ button also.


Zhayne wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Zhayne, the FAQ states that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed. That directly contradicts the CRB. They are in conflict.

- Gauss

This is why I ignore that FAQ entry and everything else and do the logical thing. I go to the source.

Table entry: One-Handed Weapon, therefore
Weapon Category: One-Handed Weapon

KISS principle in action.

The fact that PF can't figure their own crap out on this and contradict themselves completely in multiple places, IMHO, invalidates the FAQ and everything else. The table says one-handed, so it's one-handed.

If you ignore FAQ's then why do you read/post in FAQ request threads?


wraithstrike wrote:

I answered this the last time it came up. The language for the katana is a lot more clear, but has the same intent.

The bastard is a one-handed weapon, but to use it properly you must have special traing-->exotic weapon feat. Otherwise you can wield it in two hands.

For the purpose of mechanics you treat it as a two-handed weapon if you dont have EWP, and you treat it as a one-handed weapon if you do have the feat so effectively it changes categories. For the purpose of hit points it is a one-handed weapon because that is the actual category.

I do understand the confusion because the FAQ calls it a two handed weapon, and I know I am not a developer, and I will FAQ this in the hopes that the FAQ for this is rewtitten to be more clear.

If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

How does this interact with power attack? Does it always do -1/+2 or does it do -1/+3 without EWP and drop to -1/+2 when you get EWP?


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BigDTBone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I answered this the last time it came up. The language for the katana is a lot more clear, but has the same intent.

The bastard is a one-handed weapon, but to use it properly you must have special traing-->exotic weapon feat. Otherwise you can wield it in two hands.

For the purpose of mechanics you treat it as a two-handed weapon if you dont have EWP, and you treat it as a one-handed weapon if you do have the feat so effectively it changes categories. For the purpose of hit points it is a one-handed weapon because that is the actual category.

I do understand the confusion because the FAQ calls it a two handed weapon, and I know I am not a developer, and I will FAQ this in the hopes that the FAQ for this is rewtitten to be more clear.

If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

How does this interact with power attack? Does it always do -1/+2 or does it do -1/+3 without EWP and drop to -1/+2 when you get EWP?

It's -1/+2 when wielded one handed and -1/+3 when wielded two handed (like it says in power attack).


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I answered this the last time it came up. The language for the katana is a lot more clear, but has the same intent.

The bastard is a one-handed weapon, but to use it properly you must have special traing-->exotic weapon feat. Otherwise you can wield it in two hands.

For the purpose of mechanics you treat it as a two-handed weapon if you dont have EWP, and you treat it as a one-handed weapon if you do have the feat so effectively it changes categories. For the purpose of hit points it is a one-handed weapon because that is the actual category.

I do understand the confusion because the FAQ calls it a two handed weapon, and I know I am not a developer, and I will FAQ this in the hopes that the FAQ for this is rewtitten to be more clear.

If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

How does this interact with power attack? Does it always do -1/+2 or does it do -1/+3 without EWP and drop to -1/+2 when you get EWP?
It's -1/+2 when wielded one handed and -1/+3 when wielded two handed (like it says in power attack).

Actually, that's not what power attack says. That's how the STR bonus works, not how PA works.

EDIT: FAQ


BigDTBone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I answered this the last time it came up. The language for the katana is a lot more clear, but has the same intent.

The bastard is a one-handed weapon, but to use it properly you must have special traing-->exotic weapon feat. Otherwise you can wield it in two hands.

For the purpose of mechanics you treat it as a two-handed weapon if you dont have EWP, and you treat it as a one-handed weapon if you do have the feat so effectively it changes categories. For the purpose of hit points it is a one-handed weapon because that is the actual category.

I do understand the confusion because the FAQ calls it a two handed weapon, and I know I am not a developer, and I will FAQ this in the hopes that the FAQ for this is rewtitten to be more clear.

If you ask a dev can a magus use a bastard sword the answer will likely be "yes, if you took the EWP feat"

How does this interact with power attack? Does it always do -1/+2 or does it do -1/+3 without EWP and drop to -1/+2 when you get EWP?

Your FAQ link was for using a two-handed weapon in one hand, which normally cant be done. For one-handed weapons you use -1/+2 if using them in one hand, and -1/+3 if you are using two hands just like power attack says.

A longsword is a perfect example. The bastard sword is also a one handed weapon just as it is listed in the book.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Seems like the more people argue for there not being a need for an FAQ, the more things get muddled. Which to me, indicates the FAQ + RAW = Mississippi River Water (for those not in the know, it's brown 24/7).

Silver Crusade

That's because it's easily fixed on your own man. Just treat it like it is in the book. You can house rule it. It's a one handed weapon that requires special training to use it that way (i.e. the exotic weapon feat) Otherwise it's treated like a two-handed martial. That's really the only way to handle a hand and a half sword. If you want to impose the -4 nonproficiency penalty for using it one handed without the training then you can make that call as a GM.


By the book, it's a one-handed exotic weapon, and so can be wielded one-handed with a -4 nonproficiencypenalty. It is also the case that it can be wielded "two-handed" as a martial weapon, but is not defined as becoming a two-handed weapon. Going by the description of "two-handed" in the Combat chapter, and recognizing that the bastard sword is explicitly a one-handed weapon, that is what the rulebook actually says. A bastard sword is always a one-handed weapon.


Captain Emberwrath,

So you are saying, if you can fix it yourself Paizo shouldn't be made aware of the problem or shouldn't be asked to fix it?

If that is the case, why do we have the FAQ system at all? Why ask Paizo anything?

Yes, we can fix it and house rule it on our own. But, informing Paizo there is an issue is appropriate and the purpose of this thread.

Now, if you don't believe there is a problem with the existing FAQ as it relates to the CRB then perhaps you should state that and your rationale. But stating that we can fix FAQ vs Rules discrepancies on our own is not helpful.

- Gauss


The problem RJGrady is that the book also says you need to use two hands to weild it without EWP. Like I said before, they could use the katana version of the language, but that is a bit more wordy, and Paizo has a design rule against pushing text over to the next page. I am not saying this one change will do that, but enough errata, and it might eventually happen. That is why they try to use the FAQ at times instead of issuing errata. What they should do in the FAQ is list the katana language as an example of intent since that is easier to understand. People will still complain about the words not matching up for the bastard sword, but the intent will be clear.

Silver Crusade

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The bastard sword description actually does say to treat it as something else if used two-handed. But it is not 'treat as a two-handed weapon if you don't have EWP', as is widely assumed.

It is 'treat as a martial weapon if you use it two-handed'.

One-handed weapons can be used two-handed, and they don't become two-handed weapons when they are!

What a thing actually is is not changed by what a wielder treats it as.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Malachi's got the nub of the problem in his last post. The problem is, between the FAQ, the CRB/UE, and Developer Posts, the weapon is no longer a one-handed weapon, it's a two-handed weapon you can use one-handed with EWP. Except the CRB/UE don't match that.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Another can of worms is, if by RAI, it's a two-handed weapon that I can wield one-handed with a feat, do I get 1.5 x str with it wielded one-handed. This is true for a lance while riding, and the dev commentary was that that was the only weapon they were aware of that was two-handed that could be wielded one-handed.

Well, guess what, now we have another potential weapon. If it's really a two-handed weapon capable of being wielded in one-hand with a feat, shouldn't it follow the ruling of the Lance? 1.5 Str because it's a 2-handed weapon with an ability to be wielded in one hand?

Of course, this opens the possibility of a dual wielding bastard sword build with 1.5 str on the main weapon, and what on the off-hand? How much str multiplier do you get with a two-handed off-hand weapon? 0.5? 1.0? 1.5?

This all would be a lot simpler if the BS simply followed all the core rules for a one-handed exotic weapon, including being wieldable at a -4 for nonproficiency with one hand, and had a special ability to be wielded as a two-handed weapon without nonproficiency penalty if the wielder has martial proficiency.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ugh.

The idea that this is some sort of "sometimes one-handed" weapon idea was the stupidest idea ever conceived.

Rules support it always being, and counting as, an one-handed weapon.

Now, this FAQ, and some off-hand Dev comments, have alluded to the idea, that these are "sometimes one-handed" weapon.

This idea, is the beginnings of a hellish rules conundrum, that has already gone into the blender, and is now being asked to choke down, and accept, even if we are never truly told what we are accepting.

Really, what the heck is gained by continuing to complicate this?

This should be, as the rules written describe it to be.

One-handed weapon, for every single damn thing.

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:
Another can of worms is, if by RAI, it's a two-handed weapon that I can wield one-handed with a feat, do I get 1.5 x str with it wielded one-handed. This is true for a lance while riding, and the dev commentary was that that was the only weapon they were aware of that was two-handed that could be wielded one-handed.

Excellent point!

This is a very strange phenomenon. It's like the devs change their stance every post, while being completely certain that their position in this post is the way they've always thought....until it's reversed (entirely innocently) in the next post!

Devs: It's a one-handed weapon.

Us: So we can use it in one hand, but with the non-proficiency penalty?

Devs: No! Two-handed weapons can't be used in one hand!

Us: So, we can get 1.5 x Str and 3:1 Power Attack even when using it in one hand?

Devs: No! It's a one-handed weapon and follows the rules for one-handed weapons.

Us: The description says that if we use it two-handed we are proficient in it if we have MWP. Therefore we can use a large one in two hands and we don't need EWP. A medium creature uses a large one-handed weapon as if it were a two-handed weapon.

Devs: No! It's a two-handed weapon which becomes a three-handed weapon and therefore unusable.

....Yeah, hit that FAQ button!


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The rules are very simple to figure out. The only way this got confusing was from bad Dev comments.

Here's how it should be, based on pure RAW:
1-Bastard Sword is an exotic one-handed sword..
2-If you use it one handed without the ewp feat, you take non-prof penalties.
3-There is a special caveat that allows you to treat the B-sword as a Martial Weapon if you wield it in two hands instead of one. You can skip the non-prof penalty this way, but must use two hands to do so.
4-If you have only Simple Weap Prof, then no matter how you try and use the B-sword, you take the non-prof penalty.

Unfortunately, Dev comments have confused 1 and denied the possibility of 2, which further confuses the possibility of 4. And they did all of this without any real support from their own RAW.

So basically, all we can do now is pound the FAQ button until our fingers bleed so they know they can't ignore the confusion they created by calling out rulings that have no RAW support.

/FAQed


Number 2 is incorrect Neo.

2-->You can not use it as at as a one-handed weapon without EWP. This is an exception to the normal rule which would only give a -4 penalty. RAW says you can't use the weapon. That is not flavor text. The problem is that it is written like flavor text. As I keep saying they should just use the katana language as an example if they dont want to errata it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bastard Sword wrote:


BASTARD SWORD
Price 35 gp
Type exotic
A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. You can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.
Katana wrote:


KATANA
Price 50 gp
Type exotic
Specifically constructed for samurai, katanas employ multiple types of steel combined in a distinctive forging process. The result are swords noted for their wickedly sharp yet slender, gently curved blades, designed to make graceful hacking strokes capable of severing opponents' heads and limbs. Though finely balanced, these blades are difficult to master. Characters can use a katana two-handed as a martial weapon, but must take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana) feat to use it one-handed.

Not sure it's any better Wraithstrike. It's still got a bunch of questions around it. If Katana's a one-handed weapon, it has one-handed hp. If it's a two-hander, shouldn't it get 10hp, not 5hp? Is it a valid Black Blade choice, since it's only a one-handed weapon if you have the EWP? Most of the same questions apply.

If the intention is that it not be considered a two-handed weapon, I think it's better to errata it back to a two-handed martial weapon, and then allow it to be used one-handed with EWP. But again, then the lance question. Or, allow it to be used one handed without proficiency, but follow the normal rules of -4 for lack of proficiency.


That's why I said, "How it should be."

If the RAW listed it as a Martial Two-Handed weapon with a special caveat that the EWP would allow it to be wielded one-handed (ie: the way the Devs and the FAQ both are treating it), then this wouldn't be an issue.
That's not how the RAW lists it though. The fact that the text that disallows it's non-prof one-handed wielding exists in the flavor text section is, I think, more significant than even you are letting on, Wraith...

Ditto with the Katana, which honestly isn't any more clear on the issue.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, no errata has changed it's classification.

No, the FAQ doesn't either.

All RAW points to One-handed, all the way.

So, it's an One-handed weapon, and that's that.


There's one more option that I thought about that may be at play here, though significantly more involved and complex.

First, we have the base of the weapon; one-handed Exotic. This makes sense as it requires EWP to use it one-handed. If it were a two-handed Exotic weapon (and no sane person argues that it isn't an exotic weapon), then EWP would be required to wielded it two-handed as with any other 2-h Exotic. Instead, it's a one-handed Exotic, thus requires EWP to be wielded one-handed with the specific trumps general rule of not even being able to one-hand it with non-prof penalty. Another specific-trumps-general rule is that blanket Martial proficiency from a class can allow you to wield it two-handed. EWP covers both types of wielding so with EWP(bastard sword), you can wield it either one-handed or two-handed proficiently. That lays the ground-work; next comes my hypothesis:

The Bastard Sword, along with other "hand-and-a-half" weapons such as Dwarven Waraxe and Katana can serve as both one-handed and two-handed weapons. Of course, as a weapon type, their base is a one-handed exotic weapon so it has 5 HP and any item-specific manipulation such as making it a Black Blade or crafting purposes treat it as a one-handed weapon. However, it can be used as either a one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon as you see fit. To illustrate:

You have EWP(Bastard Sword) but you lack general Martial Proficiency. You can wield it as a one-handed weapon in either one or two hands and treat it as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of abilities. You could not, however, use it for an ability that specifically requires use of a two-handed weapon such as Skulking Slayer's Bold Strike ability (requires you to Charge and make a Sneak Attack with a 2-h weapon to get d8 sneak dice instead of d6). This is because you're wielding it as a one-handed weapon and using a second hand for extra leverage and power, but the wielding style is still based on a one-handed weapon. But the Bastard Sword is pretty sizeable; bigger, heavier, and stronger than most other one-handed weapons. If you wielded it in a different manner, less like a one-handed fat longsword and more like a two-handed runt greatsword, you could treat it as an actual two-handed martial weapon for the purpose of abilities like Bold Strike or Two-Handed Fighter's Overhand Chop or the like. Without martial proficiency, you'd take a -4 non-prof penalty on the attack, but that's a separate issue. So, whereas a Greatsword is a 2-h weapon always and a Longsword is a 1-h weapon always which you may wield as a 1-h weapon in two hands, a Bastard Sword is a one-handed weapon that can either be wielded as a 1-h weapon in two hands or wielded as a two-handed weapon governed by MWP because it's a different wielding style from the style governed by EWP.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The problem is, weapons are either in a category or they aren't Kazaan. There are a lot of feats and class abilities based off a weapon's category. Currently, the 'hand and a half' weapons don't have any rules other than a few poorly written bits of crunch mixed in with the fluff.

Right now, it's a one-handed except when it's a two-handed but not when it's not wanted to be a two-handed while one-handing.


That's what I mean; if that's how they want them to work, they need to codify it. It's also a good idea and even fits the standard motif as you phrased it. "Weapons are either in a category or they aren't." A Greatsword is in the category of 2-h weapons and not in the category of light or 1-h weapons. A Longsword is in the category of 1-h weapons and not in the category of 2-h or light weapons. They may have phrased it inelegantly, but I think what was trying to be set up is that a Bastard sword is in the category of one-handed weapons and it is in the category of two-handed weapons, though not in the category of light weapons.

Right now, by strict RAW, it is a one-handed weapon always, even when wielding it two-handed (as one would wield a longsword two-handed) with proficiency governed by MWP.

Silver Crusade

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Short sword, longsword, bastard sword, greatsword.

All, conceptually, martial-type weapons, with warrior-types trained in their use. Not 'simple' because not every peasant knows proper swordfighting. Not 'exotic', because each of these weapons is as familiar as the other.

So why is the bastard sword listed as exotic?

Simply put, the writers of 3rd ed wanted it to be usable in either one or two hands, but thought it should be more difficult to handle in one hand (without 'special' training), and the -4 non-proficiency would represent that nicely.

When the bastard sword description is read with this in mind, it all makes sense, and matches this RAI.

The trouble is that if you haven't been through this thought process first, you may easily understand the same description in a different way; that it was impossible to use one-handed without special training.

This goes against the design philosophy of the game, and common sense. We already know that it can be used in one hand with training (EWP), and the result of lacking training in the game is the non-proficiency penalty, not the inability to use it at all! Nor does a lack of training result in treating a weapon as if it were a different category!

In 3rd ed the EWP for both bastard sword and dwarven waraxe has an an additional prerequisite of Str 13+. You need to be strong enough to use it in one hand (in addition to the 'special' training) in order to avoid taking an attack penalty.

In 1st and 2nd editions it was usable one or two handed without any extra-special training at all.

So the idea that you take a penalty to attack with it one-handed (without that 'special' training) is entirely consistent with concept, and with the existing game system. This doesn't result in any overpowered combinations, doesn't spoil the game at all. There is no reason to nerf it.

But the idea that it can't be used at all, as opposed to taking a penalty, goes against the existing game system, weapon concept, game history and common sense.

The only cause of this entire confusion is some unfortunately ambiguous wording!

Quote:
...making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.

If it was simply too page to use at all without special training, then the 'thus....exotic' is a completely pointless waste of words. The only significance this clause has is in reference to the -4 penalty of not being proficient, because the consequence of lacking the required proficiency in this game system is a -4 attack penalty, not an unusable weapon!


I really don't get why people get so confused about a 1-h weapon with the rule added "has to be wielded as a 2-hander" in any event, I believe one of the points was whether or not a magus could cast while wielding it in 2 hands, no

Could he let go of he blade with one hand, cast, and hold it again. yes, the spell is stored, and is not required to be used in one go. It was ruled that you could even use a move action in between as long as its in the same turn. So a free action for hand movement seems fine to. under the argument that magus rules were designed to make casting spells easier, not harder


Ignoring all the derailment and looking at the core issue, the FAQ contradicting RAW, I agree. It needs to be addressed. Pressing tho FAQ button.


It's not confusing. People just want to prove Paizo wrong so they can win Internet points.

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